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2022 OALA Awards

We are excited to announce the Ontario Association of Landscape Architects President’s Award recipient as part of the 2022 Recognition Awards.

These awards are the highest recognition the Association can bestow. Join us in celebrating the outstanding individuals and leaders from our professional community that has contributed to the OALA and emulate fundamental principles of our mission, vision and core values.

The awards were presented at the social soiree awarding OALA and OPPI excellence in London, Ontario, on September 21, 2022, as part of the joint 2GETHER Conference.

A special thank you to the OALA Honours Awards and Protocol Committee: Chaired by Jane Welsh, along with Nelson Edwards, Jim Melvin, Stefan Fediuk, Chen Zixiang and Khatereh Baharikhoob for their time and dedication to ensuring the calibre of the recipients of these awards.

Congratulations to all those honoured with the 2022 OALA Recognition Awards!

OALA President's Award

The President’s Award is given in recognition of the contributions by an OALA Full Member who supports and advances initiatives and actions of the association and promotes the profession of landscape architecture in Ontario. It is given in recognition of dedicated volunteerism, generous service to the Association, and for leadership in the field of landscape architecture.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Shawn Watters, OALA

Joining OALA Council in 2021, Shawn Watters has played a pivotal role fostering public awareness of OALA. Shawn mentioned that he became a volunteer knowing he had a good understanding of the political landscape, and he would dedicate his skills to advance OALA’s strategic goals. Shawn did not waste any time keeping his word – he has contributed significant volunteer hours to the Practice Legislation Committee, Municipal Outreach Committee, as a moderator for the Spring 2022 Ground Roundtable with a panel of city councillors, and currently chairs the Discipline Committee.

A Design Lead and Senior Landscape Architect at R.J. Burnside and Associates Ltd., Shawn has over 25 years’ experience working on a wide range of projects ranging from high rises, streetscapes, and public spaces in both private and public sector. His work reflects the imperative role landscape architects play within cities, along with a deep understanding of relationship building at the municipal level. Shawn is a five-time elected councillor in Wellington county. He is running for mayor this fall in Centre Wellington.

The President’s Award recognizes Shawn’s commitment as an OALA Councillor who has not only extended significant volunteer time and knowledge in assisting on Council, but also helping to advance the OALA government outreach efforts.

OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence

The OALA Pinnacle Award for Landscape Architectural Excellence acknowledges excellence in works by an OALA member and their exemplary overall body of professional work and accomplishments.

Singling out specific projects to draw attention to a body of work which demonstrates outstanding professional accomplishment, this award promotes awareness of the recipient’s landscape architectural works and achievements among landscape architects, allied professionals, potential clients and the public.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

John Hillier

John Hillier is a well-known and respected landscape architect in Ontario and across Canada. He helped found the firm du Toit Allsopp Hillier, now known as DTAH, which has undertaken the planning and design of university campuses across Canada, Canada’s Parliamentary Precinct in Ottawa, and historic sites such as Fort York and the Distillery district in Toronto. The firm has received over 180 awards and some 120 for its landscape architectural work and designs. John’s career highlights include the National Capital Ceremonial Routes, Bank of Canada Head Office, and the Government Conference Centre (currently home to the Canadian Senate). His campus planning and design include Queens University, University of Toronto, University of Ontario Institute of Technology, Wilfred Laurier University, Toronto Metropolitan University, Technical University of Nova Scotia, Western University, York University, and the Banff Center for Arts and Creativity. John also led the firm’s landscape planning and design contributions to Evergreen Brick Works and urban design of the Gooderham and Worts Distillery District.

OALA David Erb Memorial Award

David Erb was an outstanding volunteer in furthering the goals of OALA. The David Erb Memorial Award is a prestigious way to acknowledge an OALA member whose outstanding volunteerism over the years, has contributed to furthering the goals and strategic plans of the OALA as well as, making a real difference to the OALA and its members.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Paul Brydges, OALA

For over 30 years, Paul R. Brydges has been working with diverse aspects of the landscape profession. As well as running his own firm, Paul works countless volunteer hours with many organizations and associations to better educate the public, related trades, and professions regarding the value and need for landscape architects and the need for collaboration. He demonstrates great commitment to the profession through his ongoing involvement with the OALA, Landscape Ontario (LO), and the Canadian Nursery and Landscape Association (CNLA). He was the first practicing landscape architect to ever hold the position of President of Landscape Ontario, and he continues working to break down barriers and perceived divisions between the landscape architecture and landscape trades and related professions.

He also does guest lectures and critiques at the University of Guelph, has taught at Fanshawe College and participates in a program that sees professionals visiting all levels of educational facilities to share the potential of landscape architecture with the student body. Paul is one of a few landscape architects that has dedicated his career to the advancement of the entire profession through public engagement, education, and collaboration.

Stefan Fediuk, OALA

Stefan Fediuk has been an outstanding OALA volunteer since 2014, when he contributed his time as a member of the Continuing Education and Mandatory Education Committees, he currently is an invaluable member of the Honours Awards and Protocol and Municipal Outreach Committees, and greatly increased his volunteer time commitments when he was elected to OALA Council in 2016. He further deepened that volunteer commitment when he joined the Executive Committee of Council, serving as Secretary from 2018 to 2021, and most recently as Vice President. He led the development and analysis of the AGM survey, linking it to the OALA’s Strategic Planning, and was integral to the committees that brought us the 2020 and 2022 AGMs. Through his work at the City of Windsor, Stefan promotes the profession of landscape architects and supports his local colleagues in the South-West Chapter.

Anne-Claude Schellenberg, OALA

Anne-Claude has volunteered her time and energy as the Chair of Landscape Architecture Ottawa (LAO), the Eastern Ontario Chapter of the OALA, between 2017 and 2020, and sat on the City of Ottawa’s Planning Advisory Committee as the landscape architecture member since 2019. She has also assisted several prospective OALA members as a PDP advisor. As LAO Chair, she demonstrated leadership and commitment and succeeded in improving the operational structure of the Chapter to support LAO initiatives. She promoted and delivered numerous events to assist local members in meeting their continuing education requirements. LAO events are crucial to our profession as they provide an ongoing opportunity for established members and new associates to meet, socialize, share ideas, and strengthen their connection to one another and to the profession. She also helped the LAO and OALA co-sponsor high-profile events with allied professions, raising the profile of our own profession in the Ottawa region.

OALA Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution

The Jack Copeland Award for Associate Leadership and Contribution recognizes the outstanding leadership, and contribution of an associate for going above and beyond to assist fellow associates including being an associate representative on OALA Council. Jack Copeland was an enthusiastic advocate for Associate members.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Chen Zixiang

Chen has demonstrated leadership skills and commitment to the profession through his volunteerism within the OALA. As the Senior Associate Rep on OALA Council 2021-2022, he consistently organized and hosted LARE webinars for Associate members who are pursuing the written exams. After hearing that many fellow Associate members were seeking more support as they re-attempt an exam, Chen supported a new effort to bring in guest speakers to share their insight in this process. As the Associate Rep on the HAP Committee, Chen eagerly volunteered to digitize the OALA award nomination forms, as well as convert the awards ceremony and entertainment during the 2021 OALA-CSLA Congress to virtual format, as a response to the COVID-19 pandemic.

We are pleased to note that a cheque for $500 accompanies this award to help offset the cost of a LARE exam.

OALA Community Service to Environment

The OALA Award for Community Service to the Environment is a public outreach award given to a non-landscape architectural individual, group, organization, or agency in the Province of Ontario, in recognition of and encouragement for special or unusual contributions for sensitive, sustainable design solutions leading to the improvement of environmental health, community livability and human use of the environment.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Friends of Small’s Creek Ravines

The Friends of Small’s Creek Ravines (FSCR) was formed in 2020 by community members. Small’s Creek Ravine is in the east end of Toronto, between a railway embankment, homes, and a small dog-park; it provides a walking trail and connection to nature in the heart of the city, includes a wetland, and the creek flows into the Williamson Ravine.

The FSCR has been very active over the last two years in response to proposed changes to the ravine, necessitated by Metrolinx construction of a fourth track along the lakeshore rail line. They raised awareness not only of Small’s Creek Ravine, but the importance of the ravine ecosystem through the City of Toronto, including lost and remnant river and creek systems. Engagement included tying ribbons around many of the larger trees slated for removal (to show the extent of the damage); staging an event in a local park to demonstrate the length and height of the proposed retaining wall; as well as art, a film, and walking tours.

OALA Research and Innovation Award

The OALA Research & Innovation Award recognizes the outstanding leadership, research and/or academic achievements of a member(s), or non-member(s), who, through scholarly activities and/or the development of innovative practices, inclusive of academic papers, research, publications, books, e-applications or public presentations, which contribute to the knowledge base that furthers the advancement of the art, science and practice of landscape architecture.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Dr. Robert Corry, OALA

Dr. Corry has published over 80 documents over the course of his career and is frequently involved in research applied to solve real world problems that benefit the public and promote the profession. As chair of the CSLA Tri-Agency Funding task force, Rob identified the need to have landscape architecture properly categorized by the National Research Council, the prime source of research funding in Canada. He was named interim editor of Landscape Journal—the first from outside the US. He was identified as one of two Canadians in the top 20 LA faculty researchers from CELA schools based on “h-index” value, a measure of research impact. He also serves as the University of Guelph’s MLA graduate program co-ordinator. Through his work with CSLA, the national funding agencies and Landscape Journal, he has expanded opportunities for landscape architecture research to be conducted and shared with others, including professionals and students.

Mary Jane Lovering, OALA

Mary Jane is the co-founder and one of the principals of Vertechs Design for over 40 years. The company focuses its design work on therapeutic outdoor environments for Long Term Care, Acute Care, Mental Health and play spaces for children with physical, communications, and developmental challenges. She has a background in physiotherapy and gerontology prior to landscape architecture. This led her to conduct original research in the function, accessibility, and importance of outdoor spaces for elderly individuals in long term care settings. She has been instrumental in the development of some of Ontario’s finest therapeutic landscapes, and her work has provided precedent and design standards for the unique environments associated with therapeutic outdoor spaces.

OALA Honorary Award

The Honorary category of membership is for non-landscape architects who have performed notable service in advancing the course of landscape architecture in the Province of Ontario for whom Council wishes to recognize for outstanding contributions in their own fields to improving the quality of natural and human environments.

Click here to view the e-blast announcement for this award

Robert Burley

Robert Burley is a Canadian artist whose photographs are celebrated internationally. His work concentrates on the relationship between nature and the city, architecture, and the urban landscape. Over his 40-years plus career, Robert has undertaken long-term visual investigations of subjects such as Chicago’s O’Hare Airfield, the designs of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, the Great Lakes, and Toronto’s natural parklands.

He has also made contributions as an educator at Toronto Metropolitan University and University of Toronto. The OALA and the profession of landscape architecture benefit from his past and ongoing work exploring overlooked or under-appreciated urban landscapes. To celebrate its 25th anniversary in 1994 the OALA commissioned Robert to prepare the photo exhibit: “Tithing for Eden”. More recently Robert collaborated with Walter Kehm on the artful documentation of Toronto’s Tommy Thompson Park, in the book: “Accidental Wilderness.”

Watch Robert’s acceptance speech

Nina-Marie Lister

Nina-Marie is a Registered Professional Planner trained in ecology, environmental science and landscape planning. Her influence is wide and deep, and has been instrumental in promoting and educating the public and the city building professions on topics relating to her research, teaching and practice, which she describes as operating at “the confluence of landscape infrastructure and ecological processes within contemporary metropolitan regions, with a particular focus on resilience and adaptive systems design.” She is Professor and Graduate Director in the School of Regional and Urban Planning at Toronto Metropolitan University and Visiting Professor of Landscape Architecture at Harvard University’s Graduate School of Design. Lister holds the 2021-22 Margolese National Design for Living Prize and is Senior Fellow at Massey College in Toronto.